Belgian customs officer suspended for posting ‘hate speech’ on YouTube
Monday, 13 January 2020
The customs officer had begun working for the Federal Public Service Finance department at the start of January. Credit: Pixabay.
A Belgian customs officer was suspended last week after the Federal Public Service Finance department discovered that the individual concerned had a YouTube channel on which he posted anti-Islam, homophobic and conspiratorial videos.
The man posted a video back in 2015 in which he called homosexuality an “abomination” and a “perversion,” RTBF explains. In a video posted in 2016, the man asked Muslims to deny their religion and embrace Christianity, commenting that Molenbeek is “an Islamist stronghold like the Vatican is a Catholic stronghold in Italy,” that “Islam is a false religion” and that “the Koran is a forgery.”
The man’s YouTube channel also plays host to other videos in which the man outlines his support of the Syrian regime of President Al Assad, as well as questions the official version of what happened in the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Upon discovering these videos, the Federal Public Service Finance (FPSF), who hired the customs officer at the start of January, suspended the man “until further notice,” a spokesperson from the service confirmed. The man was on a one year probation period.
“Faced with the new information about which the FPS Finance has become aware, relating to the past of the person concerned, information which is contrary to the dignity and the neutrality expected from a federal official, the FPS Finance has decided to suspend the agent until further notice. Possible disciplinary consequences are under consideration,” a FPSF spokesperson explained.
After the YouTube channel was discovered last week, the government department was forced to intervene quickly, as the customs officer would have come into contact with people of all denominations as part of his job, HLN explains.
The videos are “clearly hate speech,” said Patrick Charlier, director of UNIA, the Centre for Equal Opportunities and Opposition to Racism, who added that they send “a hostile message towards Muslims.”
The customs officer claims that the videos were all three years old and that they have nothing to do with the FPSF.
The man’s YouTube channel has an estimated 1,000 subscribers.